Young carers’ help in the classroom

Children from Rectory CE Primary School and ASD Resource Base, North Ashton, where several young carers attend, and head teacher Janet Prowse with Andy Dempsey, St Helens Council director of Children and Young People's Services
Children from Rectory CE Primary School and ASD Resource Base, North Ashton, where several young carers attend, and head teacher Janet Prowse with Andy Dempsey, St Helens Council director of Children and Young People's Services

YOUNG Wigan carers are being given more support to be encouraged to stay in school instead of missing lessons for other duties.

Pupils of Rectory Primary in Ashton are receiving help after it was found one in five children nationally misses classes because they are looking after elderly or disabled family and friends.

The youngsters are supported at the school by a number of activity sessions which offer help and advice.

With about 10 carers studying there, headteacher Janet Prowse said they also receive what is called Person-Shaped Support.

She said: “As a school we have a number of children who have a caring role within their families. We work closely with organisations such as PSS to ensure that our children who care have as much additional support as possible.

“The organisation offers a range of activities both within and out of school and the children really enjoy the time that they spend participating.”

Trustee of Wigan and Leigh Carers Centre, Bill Stubbs, said: “Society could not afford, nor would it be desirable or beneficial to all our wellbeing, to replace home carers by paid staff or by permanently rehoming those whom they care for in care homes.

“I learned then that caring for someone who is house bound requires lots of patience and compassion in order for all members of the family to keep going.

“For example, when my mum developed vascular dementia, I could not accept that she was becoming ill, never mind learn the skills from a Carers Centre to try and manage this sort of illness.”

Good Care Week is a national campaign running this week.

Robert Black, Managing Director of CLS Care Services which runs Wigan care homes, said: “Campaigns such as Good Care Week are incredibly important to the social care sector and the wider community.

“This gives us the opportunity to celebrate and champion the excellent work of our care teams, and gives others the chance to see the work we do, and offer their views and feedback.”